This is an interesting article on the value of teaching music in public schools from a non-musician. The author talks about how his lack of understanding in music frustrates him and how he sees his daughter's music teacher bring understanding to her students.
And so I find myself sitting in a music classroom of a local high school waiting for my daughter to perform. There’s another young woman seated at the piano when I sit down and I am reminded that for many students, middle school is a time of painful awkwardness.... She begins playing and I close my eyes and give my imagination to the music…and it’s beautiful. Vulgarian that I am, I even recognize it as a piece that I’ve heard before. I open my eyes and thoughts of awkwardness are gone. At the piano sits a young musician – one who just took me to a place that I cannot reach on my own. It’s so important that music education remain a part of the public school experience. Every student should have the opportunity to learn music if, for nothing else, than for our society’s selfish interest in avoiding failure to identify and foster the next generation of gifted musicians because their families couldn’t afford private music lessons.
Go read the rest here: Daily Kos: Musings on a Middle School Music Festival by someone who doesn’t get it.